Before you come to us
there are a few things you can do
to prepare your baby
The first few months of water exposure are in the bath at home. Children are not born with a fear, it is a learned emotion. Children pick up from their parent / caregiver so at this time we need to be confident, relaxed and with no distractions (turn off the phone, don't answer the door, have all equipment ready, clothes, towels, toys). Check water is at a suitable temperature should be at about 32 degrees C, you can test with elbow. Insure the temperature of the room is warm and draft free when you start bathing.
Swimming with the very young, we don't advise swimming infants before 6 months of age or until they can hold their heads up which is generally after 4 months of age. 6 months is the ideal age to start lessons for your child, as by then they are alert, and their immune system is stronger.
Newborn Exercise: At home we can introduce water awareness from birth, through bath time, where massage, play and being in the water are introduced.
New born babies' movement is controlled by over 70 different reflexes and writhing movements the infant has limited head control, learns through sensory exploration and repetition. Bath time stimulates most of these reflexes, and can be a special time for parents. Bathing with your child can be a bonding time for you and baby, babies respond to skin on skin contact.
It is much easier to hold baby on your legs where you can use two hands to wash and play.
Infants are adapted to swimming, when submerged they automatically hold their breath and make swimming movements however these skills start to fade at between 3 and 6 months we can stimulate this reflex by running water over the forehead eyes and face and by using cue words repetitively "Fulton are you ready 1, 2, 3" squeeze sponge over the head, we can ready them for submerging on cue when they do go to formal lessons. (Progress to larger amounts of water for example cups, watering cans, when baby feels comfortable).
Around four months of age an infant begins to gain control of their head, arms and legs and can move them voluntary.
When an object is placed in front of them they are able to focus on it and reach out for it. This is great for hand eye coordination. They kick and try to move, especially if they are chasing something. It is easier to move through water than on land.
Now they will be starting to roll over. First front to back, then back to front. The child may start watching their hands and feet.
At five months old, baby is starting to become more social and enjoy outside contact. When you or others look at, and talk to, baby will smile, babble away and watch you're every move. They are starting to enjoy being the centre of attention and like being where the action is.
We can now start looking at booking lessons, ready to start at six months. Here at Fulton Swim School we offer warm, clean, friendly surrounds and well trained staff. We follow Swim New Zealand guide lines for infant swimming with our own program presented by passionate teachers and you join our family of little swimmers.